• Loyola Law Review

    This Article takes the form of a letter from Gulf Coast Katrina social justice advocates. Specifically, the Letter is addressed to those who work for social justice after a disaster strikes. This is our attempt to tell you some of our stories and some of the lessons we learned from our experiences with Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the summer of 2005.

  • Superstorm Research Lab

    If we think of Hurricane Sandy as the extreme weather that hit the New York City region on October 29, 2012, then the storm was one of the worst in the country’s history, killing dozens of people, affecting hundreds of thousands, and inflicting as much as $75 billion in economic losses.

  • Education and Urban Society

    The 2020 COVID-19 disaster triggered an educational crisis in the United States, deeply exacerbating the inequities present in education as schools went online. This primary impact may not be the only one, however: literature describes a secondary impact of such disasters through “disaster capitalism,” in which the private sector captures the public resources of disaster-struck communities for profit. In response to these warnings, we ask how schools, families, and communities can counteract disaster capitalism for educational equity.

  • Qualitative Social Work

    The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified existing injustices in the United States, which is exemplified in Ypsilanti, Michigan. However, the pandemic also provides an opportunity to re-imagine existing ways of being in the world, and mutual aid networks that have provided for people's basic needs during multiple crises while also working towards more radical change provide an opportunity for social workers to examine their relationship to “helping.” The author uses their personal experience with a local mutual aid network to examine the power and possibility of mutual aid, particularly in times of crisis, as well as sources of social work resistance to decentralized and non-professional forms of helping and caring.

  • Sustainable Development

    Making reference to recent scholarly discussions on neoliberalism and disaster recovery, in this paper I discuss how the implemented neoliberal doctrines of governance have reinforced the existing asymmetrical power relationships between the state, international agencies and citizens. This process constitutes a major barrier to achieving sustainable recovery after the 2015 Nepal earthquake.

  • Sociologica

    The hazards and disasters field routinely emphasizes that there is no such thing as a natural disaster. This is a nod to the fact that environmental disasters are caused by the human actions or inactions intersecting with the occurrence of a natural hazard, e.g. hurricane, fire, earthquake. This essay argues that the disaster literature can help us understand the causes and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic but only if we consider the pandemic as a disaster and its profound impacts as outcomes of racial capitalism.

  • Frontiers in Sustainable Cities

    A growing body of community resilience literature emphasizes the importance of social
    resources in preparing for and responding to disturbances. In particular, scholars have noted that community based organizations and strong social networks positively contribute to adaptive capacity, or the ability to adjust and respond to change while enhancing the conditions necessary to withstand future events.

  • Capital & Class

    The aim of this brief intervention is to suggest that both approaches are needed, and that understanding life at the edges of capitalism, including possible emphases on relations of mutual aid instead of market competition, is necessary for a complete understanding of capitalism as a system.

  • Dialogues in Human Geography

    Mutual aid is the fundamental basis of all human societies, an understanding that is exemplified with striking clarity during times of crises. The coronavirus pandemic has brought the caring geographies of mutual aid into sharp relief with the failings of both capitalism and the state.

  • Trends in Cognitive Sciences

    How do people behave when disasters strike? Popular media accounts depict panic and cruelty, but in fact individuals often cooperate with and care for one another during crises. I summarize evidence for such 'catastrophe compassion', discuss its roots, and consider how it might be cultivated in more mundane times.

  • Fordham Urban Law Journal

    Beginning on September 17, 2011, a few hundred people gathering in a small park in lower Manhattan and calling themselves Occupy Wall Street engaged in a series of street protests and built a small, ramshackle encampment that would capture imaginations around the world, inspiring hundreds of thousands of people to take part in marches and demonstrations, build their own encampments and “occupations” of public and sometimes
    private property, and engage in other political acts.

  • American Ethnologist

    Many New Orleans residents who were displaced in 2005 by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the subsequent levee failures and floods are still displaced. Living with long-term stress related to loss of family, community, jobs, and social security as well as the continuous struggle for a decent life in unsettled life circumstances, they manifest what we are calling “chronic disaster syndrome.”

  • Australian Psychological Society

    In this document we put forward eight simple but important “best practice” insights from psychological science to help people come to terms and cope with the profound implications of climate change, so that they can stay engaged with the problem, see where their own behaviour plays a part, and participate in speedy societal change to restore a safe climate

  • Willow Brugh, Galit Sorokin, and Yaneer Bar-Yam

    Hierarchical control models have dominated organizational structures for thousands of years. Increasingly, the power of distributed organizations for performing complex tasks is becoming apparent. The strength of centralized decision making systems lies in consistency, continuity, and availability of resources. However, the inherent structure which leads to these strengths also limits the ability to respond to highly complex information. In this paper we explore the strength of the Occupy Sandy mutual aid organization.

  • New Local Government Network

    This report addresses a key aspect of the nation’s response to COVID-19: the hyper-local, spontaneous efforts of communities. These efforts do not reflect the traditional ‘helper and helped’ relationship, which prevails in public services and the formal charity sector. They obey the deeper obligations of mutualism: free citizens combining to protect their communities, and the most vulnerable, against a threat to all.

  • LSE Public Policy Review

    The beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic caused panic over job losses, food and toiletry shortages, and social isolation, over and above the health impacts of the virus. People wanted to help on a mass scale and there was a huge community response. The pandemic brought energy into neighbourhoods and communities, leading to the rapid formation of mutual aid groups in many different forms all over the country.

  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

    Climate change disproportionately impacts communities already challenged by structural oppression. Many mainstream resilience planning efforts focus on physical infrastructure. These efforts have, in many cases led to displacement through the phenomenon of Green Gentrification. An alternative framework of climate resilient design and planning considers the role of place attachment, social capital, and local knowledge in disaster resilience, here referred to as relational infrastructure.

  • Disasters

    This study examines the role of non-established relief groups (NERGs) and their involvement in the response to Hurricane Irma after it struck the state of Florida, United States, in September 2017. Its principal goal is to discover more about the engagement of NERGs in disaster response, as well as their motivations and their coordination with other emergency management agencies.

  • Tourism Geographies

    The current revelatory moment of the COVID-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to find hope in the rubble through the deconstruction of framings of crisis as “error” and by homing in on the current and potential role of tourism to contribute to a more socially and environmentally just society. This reframing the pandemic as an "unnatural" disaster opens new debates at the intersection of tourism geographies and political ecologies of hope in revelatory moments of crisis.

  • Loyola Law Review

    As the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe in the spring of 2020, thousands of grassroots, participatory, and often social movement-connected community efforts to help feed, shelter, and care for one another through the crisis were launched, many of which identified their projects as “mutual aid.” This article presents an overview of mutual aid and gives an introduction to the legal issues being confronted by mutual aid groups.

  • Robert Soden and Embry Wood Owen

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, networks of community organizers and activists mobilized to support their neighbors as part of mutual aid groups across the United States. Emergent community response is a common phenomenon during crisis, but mutual aid in the pandemic took on a distinct character, drawing on traditions of political and community organizing. Our research into these activities suggests that mutual aid organizing in relation to disaster is growing practice but remains evolving and contested.

  • John P. Clark

    The central theme of these reflection is that although the Katrina disaster offers abundant evidence of how crisis creates ideal opportunities for intensified economic exploitation, what has since then come to be called “disaster capitalism,” and also for increased repression, brutality and ethnic cleansing, which might be called “disaster fascism,” it also creates the conditions for an extraordinary flourishing of mutual aid, solidarity and communal cooperation, something we might call “disaster anarchism.”

  • Japanese Studies

    This article takes the notion of the ‘disaster utopia’ as a starting point for reconsidering the impact of the Japanese triple disaster of 11 March 2011 (3/11). It has often been observed that disasters may lead to utopian longings for a better world, and that these may, in some cases, lead to long-term social and political change.

  • Annals of Anthropological Practice

    The term “disaster capitalism,” launched in 2005 by activist journalist Naomi Klein, still has resonance within social movement circles. Yet its proliferation in media and social movements risks a confusion and weakening of the core concept and critiques.

  • Antipode

    Sea otters have barely survived centuries of colonial and capitalist development. To understand why, I examine how they have been oriented in capitalist social relations in Alaska, and with what effects. I follow sea otters through three overlapping political economic episodes, each of which shapes the next: colonial expansion and the fur trade; petro- capitalism and the negligent neoliberal state, culminating in the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill; and finally, spill cleanup and “green” capitalism, when sea otters are produced as data points and spectacle. In each episode, I describe (1) sea otters’ orientation in relation to capitalism and the state, and (2) the nature and temporality of violence and ecological loss that attends their orientation. In conversation with theorisations of extinction as a “slow unravelling”, I suggest animal life can unravel less slowly than haltingly—quick, quick, slow—and that the unravelling and animals’ orientation in capitalism are co-constituted.

  • Jonkoping University

    This study will examine how NGO:s can work to counteract disaster capitalism. This is done by looking at how Swedish NGO:s implement their work and whether this is compatible with Loretta Pyles’ decolonising disaster social work framework (2017), which is deemed to contain measures which can hamper disaster capitalism. Furthermore, it also delves into NGO perception of privatisation of the humanitarian sector, which consociates with disaster capitalism, which is done by looking at how Swedish NGO:s experience the expansion of privatisations into the humanitarian sphere.

  • Global Environmental Politics

    We situate disasters, their making, and their politics within the Capitalocene and argue that disasters and the physical processes that underpin them are not natural: they are unevenly produced through, and exacerbated by, processes inherent in the capitalist system, with uneven consequences

  • Progress in Human Geography

    Calls from the climate change community and a more widespread concern for human security have reawakened the interest of geographers and others in disaster politics. A legacy of geographical research on the political causes and consequences of disaster is reviewed and built on to formulate a framework for the analysis of post-disaster political space.

  • Natural Hazards Review

    This paper highlights a variety of studies on disaster recovery and reconstruction, some showing that political, economic, and social change is unlikely after disasters; some showing that change occurs frequently after disasters; and still others showing that both are true, depending on who you are.

  • Political Geography

    I have become increasingly interested in making sense of the post/disaster politics that have unfolded in the Caribbean since the devastating 2017 hurricane season. A situation which surprisingly, has little to do with the actual hurricanes themselves, as it does with the ways these disasters become embroiled in a longer history of structural violence that undergird the way the Caribbean has long been experimented with and exploited.

  • Columbia Journal of Race and Law

    We are honored to be part of this symposium issue envisioning the transformation of family support and honoring the work of Dorothy Roberts. The symposium is both essential and timely. It is essential because abolition of the family policing system is needed, and needed now; it is timely because the inequality exposed by the pandemic and the overdue reckoning with state violence, particularly against people of color, have mobilized communities bringing new energy and hope

  • Ecological Economics

    We sketch an agenda for research on economic practices and institutions without markets by posing nine broad questions about non-market food systems and exploring the evidence and theory around each. By ignoring and demeaning non-market economies, researchers contribute to creating markets' dominance over social life. Observing, analyzing, theorizing, supporting, promoting, creating, and envisioning non-market economies challenges market hegemony.

  • Oxford University Press

    Attributions of panic are almost exclusively directed at members of the general public. Here, we inquire into the relationships between elites and panic. We review current research and theorizing about panic, including problems of identifying when it has occurred. We propose three relationships: elites fearing panic, elites causing panic and elites panicking.

  • Environment & Urbanization

    Spontaneous responses by self-organizing, “emergent” voluntary groups and individuals are a common feature of urban disasters. Their activities include search and rescue, transporting and distributing relief supplies, and providing food and drink to victims and emergency workers.

  • Human Organization

    We develop questions for a COVID-19 research agenda from the anthropology of disasters to study the production of pandemic as a feature of the normatively accepted societal state of affairs. We encourage an applied study of the pandemic that recognizes it as the product of connections between people, with their social systems, nonhumans, and the material world more broadly, with attention to root causes, (post)colonialism and capitalism, multispecies networks, the politics of knowledge, gifts and mutual aid, and the work of recovery.

  • Open Citizenship

    Droughts, floods and other natural catastrophes related to climate change belong to a class of global risks that have downstream effects on the economy and productivity of settlements, social cohesion and administrational institutions. This represents growing challenges for adaptation strategies and disaster management.

  • Nat Hazards

    Disaster associated with natural hazards can lead to important changes—positive or negative—in socio-ecological systems. When disasters occur, much attention is given to the direct disaster impacts as well as relief and recovery operations. Although this focus is important, it is noteworthy that there has been little research on the characteristics and progress of change induced by disasters.

  • Physicians for Social Responsbility

    Climate change affects the health of all Americans - right now. There are no exceptions. Although needed adaptation will reduce risks for all, only prompt, significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will stave off a crescendoing public health emergency. Children, the elderly, and those with pre-existing conditions or who are socially the most vulnerable will be the most susceptible to the ravages of climate change.

  • Indian Institute of Technology Bombay

    Is uncertainty a vulnerability and justice problem? Historically the conversion of uncertainty into risk through research and knowledge gathering has been a key mechanism to reduce vulnerability, minimize disaster risk, and enhance adaptation and resilience. Climate change, ineffective disaster governance, democracy deficits, inequality and discrimination, and inadequate research / knowledge, are among key factors which enhance uncertainty at individual, household, community, neighbourhood, regional, national, and planetary scales.

  • American Psychologist

    The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the norms, patterns, and power structures in the United States that privilege certain groups of people over others. This article describes COVID-19 as an unprecedented catalyst for social transformation that underscores the need for multilevel and cross-sectoral solutions to address systemic changes to improve health equity for all.

  • Design and Culture

    The current health crisis, triggered by the spread of COVID-19, has mobilized activist groups and individuals within social movements worldwide to respond with actions of solidarity and mutual aid. In Greece, during the lockdown between March and May 2020, several mutual aid initiatives emerged in Athens to offer support to those who needed it.

  • Disasters

    How to respond quickly, effectively, and sensitively to large-scale crises is debated at length in the aid sector. Institutional focuses on projects and outcomes have led to abundant literature on the efficacy of external interventions, while the actions of individuals and communities to meet their own needs remain under researched. This paper seeks to close the gap by joining global trends and specific case studies to explore the scale, breadth, and characteristics of citizen and community-led responses to the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020–21.

  • Philippine Sociological Review

    This critical essay argues that disaster capitalism in the Philippines has specific nuances that mirror the pre-existing characteristics of the Philippine political economy, which is a combination of patronage politics and neoliberal policies. The article also highlights the role of people's movements in resistance and efforts of insulating the country from disaster capitalism.

  • Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis Faculty Publications

    The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in an era of unprecedented hard- ship across the United States. In response, local community members leveraged mutual aid as a form of citizen-based, peer-to-peer care. In this paper, we are interested in teasing out significant de- sign features that support the facilitation of mutual aid on online platforms. To this end, we conducted a scenario-based claims analysis of the two most widely used platforms for mutual aid, based on three primary user groups. Our analysis suggests that design for mutual aid platforms considers features which support request standardization

  • University of Michigan

    Within the United States, many marginalized communities have long-standing food growing traditions, which is relevant to responding to the growing climate crisis that imperils global food security and disproportionately impacts marginalized communities. In this community-engaged qualitative dissertation, I broadly ask, what can we learn from marginalized agrarian traditions that might be useful to those marginalized communities in collectively surviving global environmental change?

  • Siobhan Watters

    This is the manuscript of a guest lecture I gave in MIT 3874G: Disaster Capitalism, a course designed and delivered by Dr. Warren Steele of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario. The theme for the day’s lecture was ‘Exit Strategies.’

  • Social Movement Studies

    From the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures introduced created a series of social problems and needs that were partially addressed in Italy as well as in other countries by grassroots mutual aid initiatives. This article analyses these initiatives as direct social actions: actions that do not primarily
    focus on claiming something from the state or other power holders, but instead on directly transforming some specific aspects of society by means of the very action itself.

  • NACLA report on the Americas

    Faced with an onslaught of disasters, government mismanagement of
    life-threatening crises, and the injustices of colonialism, Puerto Rican
    communities have bet on their own survival. Their mutual aid efforts testify
    to both the power of grassroots organizing and the scale of state neglect.

  • Antipode

    We build on the critical environmental justice (CEJ) framework by exploring mutual aid as a means of practising and realising transformative environmental justice that allows activists to build environmentally resilient and just communities beyond the state. We draw on the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, the Black Radical Tradition, and other critical approaches to demonstrate how mutual aid offers a meaningful point of conjunction for uniting ideological approaches to environmental justice that are often understood as being at odds with one another.

  • Citizenship Studies

    Prisons, jails, and detention facilities, by definition, are designed to isolate and separate people from their communities. To challenge and upend carcerality requires not just dismantlement, but radical revisioning, a building – of flourishing, free and caring communities. Collectively developed responses and resources for people and ecosystems, led by those with lived experience of oppression, are the foundation for a world without prisons.

  • Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal

    Alongside the charity framework, the more effective altruist ought to consider a mutual aid framework, which better acknowledges and honors the unavoidably political commitments of effective altruism to reimagine and remake the world.

  • Dean Spade

    For years, I have been sad about how mutual aid rarely gets taught in classes about social change and social movements. It is such a vital part of movement building and transformation, and often very mobilizing for students to learn about it. I hope this will be changing as the concept of mutual aid is circulating more. I made a Teaching Guide to go with my new book about mutual aid being published by Verso Books in October, wanted to share now in case anyone is considering the book for fall syllabi.

  • Dean Spade

    I’m teaching a class this fall at University of Chicago called Queer and Trans Mutual Aid for Survival and Mobilization. Here is the syllabus. I will be posting the discussion questions and class exercises for each week here, so you can use them if you are reading along alone or in a reading group.

  • Social Movement Studies

    Between March and June 2020, residents in north London faced the Covid-19 pandemic by creating neighbourhood Mutual Aid groups on WhatsApp and Facebook. These groups not only addressed basic survival needs such as bringing groceries and medicines to
    infected people, the elderly, and other vulnerable populations in quarantine; they also offered opportunities for social interactions between strangers living in the same neighbourhood during lockdown. Their success was linked to their rapid mobilization, adaptability and local knowledge.

  • Race & Class

    This paper argues that Hurricane Katrina accelerated ongoing social processes involving neoliberal policies, labour migration and racial boundary shifts. In the storm’s wake, neoliberal policies promoted the reorganisation of the local labour force and stimulated the immigration of vulnerable Latino immigrant workers.

  • Environmental Justice

    Disasters are becoming more frequent and destructive while the consequences for incarcerated persons have grown increasingly visible. Simultaneously, scholars, individuals, and communities are grappling with police brutality and systemic anti-Black racism in the criminal legal system by engaging with the concept of abolition. In this article we demonstrate that these issues are not disconnected and argue that the abolition of the prison industrial complex (PIC) would mitigate the impacts of disasters for incarcerated persons and their communities.

  • Bioethical Inquiry

    The focus of discussion about the ethical issues associated with the COVID-19 pandemic has been on the great suffering to which it has given rise. However, there may be some unexpected positive outcomes that also emerge from the global disaster.

  • John Hopkins University Press

    St. Augustine Church, widely regarded as the oldest African-American church in the country, was slated for closure only six months after Hurricane Katrina. Since its opening, St. Augustine has always been a vital cultural nexus in the city's Afro-Creole community, and closing the parish at a time when it was most needed would have been a devastating blow.

  • Resilience

    A pervasive sense of uncertainty permeates individual and collective life today. The political economic, cultural, infrastructural, and environmental changes, neoliberal development ushers in, manufacture insecurity at scales stretching from the molecular to the global.

  • Journal of Climate Resilience & Climate Justice

    Community responses to the impacts of COVID-19 in working-class communities of color in the Boston area are examples of resilience in action. Building climate resilience is not just about hardening physical infrastructure but also about strengthening social and civic infrastructure to reach and protect the most vulnerable. This article explores the lessons learned from the pandemic for more equitable approaches to climate resilience.

  • Disaster Prevention and Management

    One of the most obvious problems for those involved with disaster relief work is coordination with other teams in the field, with headquarters, with the mother organization in the home country and having to deal with unanticipated situations. The central dilemma appears to be this: disaster relief workers either have the knowledge to know what to do or the authority to do it.

  • Communication Quarterly

    This critical discourse analysis of the American Red Cross (ARC) interrogates the discourses of situated ARC stakeholders following their participation in the 2005 hurricane disaster relief efforts. The author uses critical discourse analysis as a guiding theoretical framework and method of analysis to reflect on how the language and practices of the ARC, on a variety of levels, normalizes Whiteness and maintains White privilege.

  • Economic Anthropology

    Disaster capitalism is typically defined as a systematic and opportunistic reconfiguration of economies and economic regulations in service of capitalist interests under the cover of environmental crisis. This article offers another complementary variety of disaster capitalism—the production of capitalist subjects, petit capitalists “empowered” by the state and nongovernmental organizations via initiation into the special knowledge and crafts of small enterprise. This is at once a well-intentioned strategy and one that reveals the limits of neoliberal imagination—the inability to envision recovery but through individualistic, entrepreneurial endeavors.

  • Pirate Care
    Network of activists, researchers and practitioners against the criminalisation of solidarity & for a common care infrastructure.
  • UC Press

    So here we are and there we were. The maligned, mythologized state of Louisiana: a state whose history is steeped in the transatlantic slave trade, the domestic slave trade, Jim Crow, mass incarceration, mass surveillance, disaster capitalism, and disaster resistance. Strike that, just call it resistance—all resistance is against a disaster, be it white supremacy, capitalism, violent infrastructure by design—including draconian limitation on abortion access.

  • Peace Review

    How might critique and transformative education play a role in resisting various manifestations of disaster capitalism? Can ideas from Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed and Pedagogy of Hope, and Henry Giroux’s critical pedagogy inform our systematic conceptualization of alternatives to harmful emergency management strategies?

  • Johns Hopkins University Press

    The year 2015 marked the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall just outside of New Orleans on August 29, 2005. Critical narratives point to the glaring racial and economic inequality that contextualized the catastrophe. However, most Katrina discourse has been limited by its neglect of intersectional feminist analysis. In this article I introduce a model for making intersectional sense of Hurricane Katrina with lessons for the study of other disasters.

  • Duke University Press

    Care has reentered the zeitgeist. In the immediate aftermath of the 2016
    US presidential election, op-eds on #selfcare exploded across media platforms. But for all the popular focus on self-care rituals, new collective
    movements have also emerged in which moral imperatives to act — to
    care — are a central driving force.

  • Columbia University Press

    Can professional caregivers respond to the needs of the individuals and families who face life threatening experiences, or "crises," such as the effects of chemical waste in Love Canal, the nuclear explosion on Three Mile Island, the hostage taking in Iran, the volcanic destruction of Mount Saint Helens, or the crash of a DC-lO airplane in Chicago?

  • College Literature

    Emmett Till's body arrived home in Chicago in September 1955. White racists in Mississippi had tortured, mutilated, and killed the young 14-year-old African-American boy for whistling at a white woman. Determined to make visible the horribly mangled face and twisted body of the child as an expression of racial hatred and killing, Mamie Till, the boy's mother, insisted that the coffin, interred at the A.A. Ranier Funeral Parlor on the South Side of Chicago, be left open for four long days.

  • Disaster Research Center University of Delaware

    The World Trade Center attack, though constituting an unprecedented disaster, nevertheless generated many of the features seen in other disasters in the U.S. Such features include the convergence of volunteers and donations of supplies, which are welldocumented in the literature.

  • Urban Forestry & Urban Greening

    Community gardens have historically played an important role in the social–ecological resilience of New York City (NYC). These public-access communal gardens not only support flora and fauna to enhance food security and ecosystem services, but also foster communities of practice which nurture the restorative and communal aspects of this civic ecology practice. A

  • City University of New York

    This study analyzes the politics and lived experiences of debt and climate disaster recovery in Puerto Rico. It examines mutual aid and debt resistance in relation to governance techniques and overlapping crises marked by the U.S. territory’s bankruptcy, the aftermath of Hurricane Maria (2017), and culminating with popular mobilizations in the summer of 2019 that propelled the governor’s resignation.

  • Disasters

    It is reasonable to assume that, if we could find a way to open a permanent door to this paradise, a breakthrough could occur in Japanese society. The most real and practical problem is, hence, how to maintain or resume this state of paradise in society. The present study attempts to solve these problems using action research and focusing on disaster volunteers. It first introduces the outline of the author’s own longitudinal fieldwork after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Secondly, based on this fieldwork, it describes action research in terms of which previous disaster survivors who received support were motivated to assist survivors in the disaster-affected area of eastern Japan. Finally, it discusses the psychological and sociological implications of this process not only for disaster-affected areas, but also for the whole of Japanese society.

  • American Behavioral Scientist

    Like sustainable development, disaster resilience can be conceptualized as a collective surge in science, policy, and practice. The strength of the resilience surge is based on the concept’s usefulness as a boundary object and in particular its resonance with the discourses and practices of neoliberalization, in which the role of the state is diminished and superseded by private–public partnerships and contracts.

  • Urban Sustainability Directors Network

    In North American cities, a great deal of effort is needed to enhance equity-centered climate resilience. To date, most community resilience work focuses on identifying and managing vulnerability and risk through top-down approaches that often fail to meaningfully include equity-centered strategies considering the most vulnerable populations.

  • Critical Social Policty

    Through a critical discourse analysis of news media after the US Gulf Coast hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake disasters, we draw from Soss et al.’s (2011) ideas about US poverty governance – neoliberal paternalism – to identify how a similar phenomenon of ‘neoliberal disaster governance’ (NDG) operates in these contexts. NDG is a set of discourses, policies, and practices, we argue, which endeavors to control disaster survivors in order to further the ends of neoliberal capitalism. Specifically, we find several key story lines that legitimate and perpetuate NDG, namely disaster capitalism, securitization and militarization of disaster settings, discourses of racial cleansing, and displacement.

  • Teacher Education Quarterly

    Around the world, disaster is providing the means for business to accumulate profit. From the Asian tsunami of 2005 that allowed corporations to seize coveted shoreline properties for resort development to the multi-billion dollar no-bid reconstruction contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan, from the privatization of public schooling following Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast to the ways that No Child Left Behind sets public school up to be dismantled and made into investment opportunities—a grotesque pattern is emerging in which business is capitalizing on disaster.

  • TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies

    In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the concept of mutual aid was rapidly taken up as an ideal model for solidarity. This paper examines why mutual aid may have found such popularity in this moment by examining the affective underpinnings of risk, vulnerability and the imperative to care. Rather than celebrate the turn to mutual aid as the best path towards justice, however, the paper suggests that we think strategically about the models we use for survival, by considering mutual aid as one strategy among many for generating our responses to the harms that predate, and are intensified through, the pandemic

  • Interface

    As a scholar on social movement democracy and an activist scholar working on neighbourhood relations, we are curious about the political and transformative potential of solidarity in action during this crisis. Hence, we analyse different initiatives of mutual aid during the pandemic in our city

  • Rachel Judith Stern

    Long-term volunteers at Common Ground Health Clinic (CGHC) in New Orleans speak resolutely, passionately, and extensively about their “New Model” of healthcare. Important to their project is not just providing any type of “medical care” to the previously underserved New Orleans neighborhood of Algiers but providing a specific type of care – “what we would want for us.” This goal is explicitly political, like that of the Black Panther clinics, and it challenges the methods and discourse of traditional biomedicine.

  • Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

    In this paper we map out how mutual aid has been enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic by charity, contributory and radical groups to address specific and novel forms of vulnerabilities, and the opportunities and challenges this offers for the future. In particular we highlight potential tensions between the enacting of mutual aid practices and the political activism (or not) of the mutual aid actors.

  • Northern Arizona University

    This paper focuses on Mutual Aid Disaster Relief (MADR), a grassroots organization providing natural disaster relief rooted in the principles of mutual aid and autonomous direct action. Through participant-observation of a series of workshops and semi-structured interviews with activists and organizers, this research explores why it is that individuals are motivated to act within this grassroots network, as opposed to participating in other efforts in response to natural disasters.

  • Duke University Press

    In the current political moment in the United States, defined by climate crisis, increased border enforcement, attacks on public benefits, expansive carceral control, rising housing costs, and growing white right-wing populism, leftist social movement activists and organizations face two particular challenges that, though not new, are urgent.

  • Superstorm Research Lab

    The Superstorm Research Lab (SRL) is a mutual aid research and writing collective working to understand the changes in how New York City policy actors, NGO leaders, activists, volunteers, and residents are thinking about social, economic and environmental issues following Hurricane Sandy.

  • West Street Recovery

    Nearly four years after Hurricane Harvey struck Houston in 2017, thousands of Houstonians remain displaced or are still living in damaged homes that endanger their health. This working paper uses participatory action research to identify and analyze the barriers to recovery from the perspective of residents living in low income Black and Brown neighborhoods in Northeast (NE) Houston.

  • Tohoku University

    Mutual-aid communities are normally built voluntarily in disaster-struck areas. Similar kinds of communities formed after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. In this case, calls for collaboration between all Japanese people such as Ganbaro Nippon (“carry on, Japan” or “hang in there, Japan”) appeared on posters and stickers in towns throughout the country.

  • University of Vermont

    Although not always recognized as such, catastrophes are complicated systems that are built on the social production of vulnerability. This thesis considers how responses to catastrophes are usually built on an oversimplified understanding of what they are, and argues that more nuanced, multi-faceted understandings of catastrophes can guide us to more effective solutions.

  • Human Organization

    In this article, I discuss some aspects of disaster governance, focusing on the long-term recovery process. Speciically, I analyze the fundamental biopolitical assumptions of the discourses and practices on the part of governmental disaster response agencies in São Luiz do Paraitinga, Brazil.

  • Public Choice

    Can bottom-up relief efforts lead to recovery after disasters? Conventional wisdom and contemporary public policy suggest that major crises require centralized authority to provide disaster relief goods. Using a novel set of comprehensive donation and expenditure data collected from archival records, this paper examines a bottom-up relief effort following one of the most devastating natural disasters of the nineteenth century: the Chicago Fire of 1871.

  • UW-Madison

    This paper addresses the relationship between resistance and building in collective political struggle. Although protests, strikes, and other repertoires of contention are well-studied in the contentious politics literature, relatively few scholars examine the interplay of contentious strategies and tactics with constructive action that builds social-relational infrastructure to meet collective needs. I draw on a case study of the campaign to divest from fossil fuels and reinvest in climate solutions to illustrate how contentious and constructive dimensions are intertwined in the climate movement. I generalize from this example to argue that constellations of ideologically-saturated constructive strategies and tactics – what I call repertoires of construction – have unique dynamics and implication.

  • New Labor Forum

    “We have all experienced the devastating effects of natural and unnatural disasters in America.” So began a speaker at a post-Hurricane Sandy rally at Zuccotti Park on July 31, 2013, recalling two previous disasters that the audience knew well: the World Trade Center attack of September 11, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina’s flooding of New Orleans on August 29, 2005

  • The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

    Many groups and agencies have a vital need of accurate information on how people behave during disasters. This article presents information which seems to have particular pertinence for disaster preparedness, control, and amelioration

  • ACME

    This article provides an analysis of Occupy Sandy – a New York-based activist organization that was formed in response to superstorm Sandy in October 2012 – in order to demonstrate what we might
    learn from its emergency (im)mobilities. Specifically, it suggests Occupy Sandy's myriad forms of movement and emplacement, can help us find a way toward an insurgent infrastructure beyond racial liberalism, one predicated on and productive of a radical reconceptualization of the city and urban citizenship itself.

  • Handbook on Participatory Action Research and Community Development

    This chapter is an effort to synthesize these lessons and make practical recommendations to other librarians and knowledge professionals. Mutual aid - including and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic - is a case study in how social movements can facilitate transformative community development through grassroots knowledge production, reliant on information management.

  • Lexington Books

    It is Thursday, November 8, 2012 at St. Jacobi Church in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. It’s a bright, dry day. Just one week earlier, Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the East Coast, ravaging everything in its wake. In New York City, thousands of houses are destroyed or flooded.

  • Louisiana State University

    After Hurricane Katrina of 2005, New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward became an icon for the failure of recovery efforts and the persistence of inequality and poverty in American society. However, for as long as this community has been marginalized it has been creating advocacy organizations and counter-narratives that battled discrimination and imbued its cultural practices with meaning.

  • Contemporary Political Theory

    Editors Rachel Brown and Deva Woodly bring together Mara Marin, Shatema Threadcraft, Christopher Paul Harris, Jasmine Syedullah, and Miriam Ticktin to examine the question: what would be required for care to be an ethic and political practice that orients people to a new way of living, relating, and governing? The answer they propose is that a 21st-century approach to the politics of care must aim at unmaking racial capitalism, cisheteropatriarchy, the carceral state, and the colonial present.

  • Politics & Governance

    Latin America is one of the regions facing many disasters with some of the worse impacts. The current governance model has not proven successful in disaster risk reduction. This article aims to theoretically analyse the relationship between ideal regional disaster risk governance (DRG) and the actual production of disaster risk in Latin America.

  • Homeland Security Studies and Analysis Institute

    Within hours of Sandy’s landfall, members from the Occupy Wall Street movement—a planned social movement comprised of social activists who protested income inequality in the United States—used social media to tap the wider Occupy network for volunteers and aid. Overnight, a volunteer army of young, educated, tech-savvy individuals with time and a desire to help others emerged.

  • Louisiana State University

    Following Hurricane Katrina, observers worried that New Orleans might continue on a path of citizen passivity, inter-communal conflict, and corruption that was part of its long-standing reputation. Instead, observers have been struck by the outpouring of citizen engagement, the rise of new or invigorated community organizations, and the calls for government responsiveness.

  • Dissent, University of Pennsylvania Press

    When people ask me, as a climate reporter, what I think will happen next, my answer has been cruel and blasé in its bluntness: "More pandemics." There will be more pandemics, driven by deforestation, habitat destruction, and disease vectors extended due to warming climates, all egged on in their spread by the global nature of our economy. We also know there will be an increase in other kinds of climate disasters: wildfire, drought, hurricane, flood. The future is packed with relentless catastrophe.

  • Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research

    Our study aims to understand the values and beliefs underlying mutual aid practices in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings could inform mutual aid organizers, social workers, and scholars, enhancing their understanding of how mutual aid—as both a longstanding and emerging practice— may uniquely respond to the ongoing pandemic and compounding crises, such as economic distress and climate change, as government and nongovernmental (e.g., nonprofit) systems fail to keep up with increasing needs.

  • Peace Review

    On the morning of August 23, 2014, a young man in his mid-20s, Jefferson Custodio, was delivering farm implements to farmer beneficiaries in Barangay Punong, Carigara, Leyte. A survivor of super Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda), Jefferson was involved in numerous relief activities intended to alleviate the conditions of farmers who had lost seeds, farming implements, and capital when the winds and rain of Haiyan destroyed their crops.

  • Uppsala University

    This is a study about disasters, vulnerability and power. With regards to social justice organizing a particular research problem guides the work, specifically that emancipatory projects are often initiated and steered by privileged actors who do not belong to the marginalized communities they wish to strengthen, yet the work is based on the belief that empowerment requires self-organizing from within.

  • Environment and Society: Advances in Research

    Using ethnographic encounters in Chicago and Austin we consider how practices of mutual aid are meaningful both spatially and aff ectively. First, we explore how mutual aid transforms “decaying” urban spaces to meet residents’ needs. Second, we explore felt experiences of mutuality in social relationships as distinct from authoritarian, charity-based relationality. Th inking these spatial and affective dimensions collectively, we work toward a framework of Black ecologies of care and mutual aid.

  • Geoforum

    In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, philanthropy has been quick to react to the call for help from Governments and International Organisations. And yet, despite the overwhelming response, increasing attention has been brought to the intricate ways in which philanthropists and billionaires have been asserting their presence through their actions and influence in different spheres of power.